Legal Guide

An Update to OSHA’s Workplace Hazard List

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often releases a list containing top workplace hazards. The recent release includes the most violated safety standards by employers.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) revealed that nearly 125,000 workers are killed and disabled by workplace hazards. Of these, 4,764 die from traumatic injuries, while another 120,000 are disabled. 

Workplace injuries significantly affect workers, who may be forced to stay out of work after an accident. Here are some of the hazards that employers should address.

Respiratory Hazards 

Workers who work in areas with contaminated air from toxic gases, smoke, dust, fumes, fogs, mists, and vapors are at a greater risk of developing occupational respiratory diseases. Fortunately, OSHA outlines safety control measures to keep employees safe. 

They include proper ventilation, enclosing operations that produce toxic inhalants, and using less toxic materials if possible. Employers are expected to provide respirators to employees who work under such conditions. 

Fall Hazards

OSHA mandates that all employers employ protective measures for employees working from four feet or higher. Moreover, they should ensure workers are equipped with fall protection gear and safety systems when working above hazardous machinery. 

In addition to OSHA’s guidelines, federal law requires employers to train employees on potential hazards. They must do this in a language that is easy to understand. Employers must also post signage in the workplace. 


OSHA outlines the following guidelines to promote ladder safety 

  • Ladder inspection requirements, including how often they should do it
  • Design rules for rungs and steps 
  • Requirements for fixed, mobile, and portable ladders
  • Safety instructions when climbing ladders

Hazard Communication

OSHA put these standards in place to ensure chemical safety at the workplace. Employers must have adequate information on the identities and hazards associated with chemicals. This information should be written and available to all employees in an understandable format. 

Employers must also train employees on safe chemical handling. If employers fail to observe OSHA’s hazard communication standard, their workers could be exposed to toxins resulting in inhalation injuries, asthma, silicosis, and reactive airway disease (RAD). 


OSHA has provided safety checklists and control methods for employers to reduce scaffold-related hazards. This is because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that nearly 60 workers are killed in scaffold accidents, and another 4,500 are injured each year. 

Power Industrial Trucks 

Industrial trucks are also a source of danger as they could be involved in collisions with other vehicles. When these trucks are involved in accidents while carrying cargo, they could cause falling load incidents. Therefore, employers must train workers on the safe operation of industrial trucks. Operators should also pass OSHA’s industrial truck training and evaluations. 


These procedures are essential in powering down industrial equipment during repairs, servicing, or inspection. Thus, employers should ensure they have effective energy control programs suited to the equipment at the workplace. Failure to implement these procedures could cause fatal injuries.

Machine Guarding 

Machine guards protect workers from contact with moving parts which could cause severe injuries like amputations, burns, blindness, and crushed limbs. Employers should observe the set safety standards and include safeguards for dangerous machinery. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE protects workers from physical hazards at the workplace. For instance, employers must provide construction workers with helmets, safety gloves, goggles, and ear protection. Workers exposed to toxic chemicals should be equipped with masks, respirators, face shields, etc. 


“Every employee is entitled to a safe working environment where their well-being is prioritized. In the event of a workplace injury, you have the right to file a personal injury claim through workers' compensation. This insurance coverage is designed to provide reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses incurred due to the injury,” says attorney Ronald Wittmeyer of R.F. Wittmeyer Ltd.

It is strongly advised to consult with a lawyer before proceeding with your claim. They can provide valuable legal guidance, ensuring that you fully understand your rights, navigate the claims process effectively, and pursue the appropriate compensation you are entitled to.

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